So, what do you get when you cross Vegan Month of Food with a girl, pears, and a foodie blog? A poached pear tart, of course!
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. vegan margarine (I use earth balance. It should be COLD)
1 tsp. salt
4-8 TBSP of ice water
Measure out the flour, salt and margarine in a bowl or in the food processor. (personally, I find cleaning the food processor annoying, so I do this manually) Cut the butter up in the flour until you have a sand-like texture using the butter knives in a scissor style action. Add the water one TBSP at a time, depending on your humidity you may use more or less than the recommended amounts. Mix the water in with a fork, your dough should stick and stay when you press it together. Don't skimp on the water to the point that it crumbles, but you don't want it to be anywhere near sticky either. Knead the dough for a few minutes (this is where you find the difference between pie dough and tart dough. A pie dough should be handled as little as possible, but a tart dough needs to be kneaded...haha get it? needs to be kneaded?) Roll it into a ball and refrigerate it overnight or at least an hour before rolling out and placing it into a tart pan.
When it is ready to roll out, roll to about 1/4" thickness and place over the pan, lift the edges to settle it into the corners of the pan. I folded a little bit of it over onto itself, but that isn't necessary! Cook the crust at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, I usually check it at 15 minutes.
1 c. raw unsalted cashews (soaked overnight then drained)
3 TBSP. sugar (or other sweetener such as agave nectar)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. to 1 c. water
Place all ingredients in a blender, add the water slowly. If you add too much water, your cashew cream will be soupy. You want it to be creamy, so keep that in mind! Simple as that.
Red Wine Poached Pears
4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved (the should be ripe, but not soft)
1 c. red wine (I used a Zinfandel)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over med. high heat. Cook the pears in the red wine mixture until tender and stained red. Remove the pears and continue to cook the red wine down to a thick sauce. This will take quite a while.. you will know you are getting close when it starts boiling up a lot. just keep cooking it and cooking it until it gets thicker. It will still run, but will be noticeably thicker. Slice the pears in very thin slices, no thicker than 1/4".
Once your tart crust has cooked and cooled, spread the cashew cream onto the crust. Lay the pear slices out on top of the cashew cream in whatever pattern your heart desires. You can even just dump them on if you are going for the beautifully chaotic look. Then drizzle your red wine sauce over the tart.